As most of you will be waking up at nine o’clock this coming Wednesday Morning I will be fast asleep as you good folks will be reading and dissecting what’s been written on this particular article on the next chapter in the biggest rivalry in the confederation as well as the southern border of the country. But there will be some nerves flying, stomach’s unraveling & watching the clock on the office wall hoping and praying that four o’clock will be coming soon so you can get off of work an hour early to watch the start of the match.
A decade of wins over Mexico on home soil, defeating them in the Round of sixteen at the 2002 World Cup, the 2007 Gold Cup victory that qualified the USA for this past Confederations Cup & now the ultimate prize awaits in this recent rivalry between our nations. Any form of points to take away at the very high altitude & smog filled Estadio Azteca. The biggest notch on the belt for US Soccer will be less than ten hours away and everyone who is home watching stateside will be on pins and needles to see what this group of players will do on the pitch.
When I started to seriously get involved watching & supporting football it was after the 1998 World Cup because I have to admit it, I was slowly trying to understand the rules and to find out who were the big National Teams that were rivals to the USA. When I was younger my Father and Uncle got my cousins and I involved with the NY Cosmos back in the days of the NASL, then I was re-introduced to it during the 1994 World Cup & then MLS came around in 1996. When I was told Mexico was the biggest rival for the country then I was ready for anything with the National Team. Yes that US Cup final victory against a C side from Mexico that was the entire squad of Pumas UNAM at Giants Stadium back on June 11th, 2000
But the real victory to start it all was the original freezer match on February 28th, 2001 at Columbus Crew Stadium. The start of the second half when Clint Mathis sprung Josh Wolff and tapped the ball past an oncoming Jorge Campos, then got close enough to the net to tap it in for the early one goal to nil lead. Late in the second half as Wolff dug himself out of trouble with two defenders on him at the far corner and walked with the ball along the end line. He crossed to an oncoming Earnie Stewart who blasted the ball in the back off the net. The night before that match started I couldn’t sleep. I tried to do everything I could to get some shuteye, yet I woke up thinking to much about this big match up against Mexico in World Cup Qualifying. I went to big soccer and wrote a post so I can express my emotions and hopefully get the proper rest.
Now here we are ladies and gentleman. Once again the nerves have returned for me as this roster looks to be a strong lineup going against the USA’s biggest rivals in the confederation. A possible chance to take either a single point, or a major upset to take the full three points at the biggest home field advantage of the region. Whatever happens out there on the field the boys will give it their best shot and in my view the biggest advantage on the US side will be Jose Francisco Torres as he will be the target for all the green shirts to take out as they will feel he has betrayed the country that provided him with club football in Pachuca. Let’s have a good match folks and hopefully it will be just as entertaining as it was back in Columbus Crew Stadium on February 11th of this year.